FOUR SCORE AND QUITE A FEW YEARS AGO
President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous speech on this date in 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Only four and a half months earlier, the site had been the 3-day battlefield for the Union victory over the Confederates.
The 271-word speech is perhaps the most famous ten sentences in American history, but it wasn’t even the keynote message of the day. Edward Everett’s dedication oratory lasted two hours.
Although many phrases from the text are frequently quoted, the exact wording of the speech is unknown. There are five existing manuscripts in Lincoln’s handwriting, plus newspaper reports from the day, but each vary in the exact details.
Copies of the original manuscripts of the Gettysburg address can be read at the Library of Congress, the Illinois State Historical Library, Cornell University and the Smithsonian, but far more people read it every day on the south wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Here is Bachelder’s view of the Gettysburg Battle, issued just a few months after the event.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.
Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon